liv: Composite image of Han Solo and Princess Leia, labelled Hen Solo (gender)
[personal profile] liv
Several cheerful upbeat articles about trans* and genderqueer matters have crossed my radar recently, some via Twitter and some on my DW readlist and some just in my general surfing around. I'm cis myself so if I've made a misstep and these are wrong-headed or in fact not cheering I apologize.

[community profile] agonyaunt recently highlighted a lovely column where the correspondent is hand-wringing over a grandchild who is insufficiently gender-conforming, and the advice is to show love and understanding (and stop panicking over nothing). I like how the agony aunt doesn't assume the child is trans or genderqueer because they're not a pink princess, and also doesn't assume the child is a girl just because that's how they were assigned at birth, but gives advice that is sensible and compassionate for any of the possibilities.

Talking of supportive families, this letter to my transgender father rather endeared me. It's interesting that the writer addresses his female parent as "Dad". I sort of like the idea of degendering the term, but some may find its masculine connotations too strong and therefore unpleasant to encounter in an article about a woman.

Ashley Altadonna listed 30 things she learned while transitioning. There's a bunch of really sweet stuff there; her #1 is that her family and friends are wonderful, amazing, supportive etc, and her #30 is that her wife is wonderful too. The post also makes a pretty good guide, from what I can tell, to trans etiquette, and because it comes in a happy bouncy context, not a theory-heavy or angry context, it may be palatable to some people who might otherwise be resistant to the advice.

This article, from Svenska Dagbladet, a right-leaning Swedish broadsheet, is basically a conservative columnist having a giant freakout over some progressive initiatives in Swedish education. Titled Genusförskola är inte jämställdhet [Pre-school gender studies is not equality], it is flapping about such things as:
  • Gender studies academics propose that some of the height difference between men and women is cultural rather than genetic.
  • Gender studies experts may have input into pre-school education
  • There is one pre-school in a trendy area of Stockholm where gender-neutral language ('friend' or 'person') is preferred to gendered language like 'boy' and 'girl'.
  • Some schools are intervening in children's playtime when the kids start segregating toys and activities by gender.
  • Parents will not be allowed to opt their children out of gender egalitarian initiatives in pre-schools. The horror!

    [personal profile] kaberett came out as trans, genderqueer and Queer and started some really excellent conversation, thinky and informative and supportive, on their post. What particularly struck me, among a whole bunch of cogent explanations, is [personal profile] kaberett's comment: the idea that the only way I can be recognised as genderqueer is by looking like a skinny white boy with long hair is bullshit. Which makes me want to reexamine my relationship with androgyny; maybe the fact that I have breasts and broad hips and little desire to alter my body doesn't automatically exclude me from that range of gender possibilities.

    Sidenote: when I congratulated [personal profile] kaberett on running such a good discussion, they said it was nearly as awesome as my conversations, which made me completely fall apart with feeling so well complimented. So, um, apparently we each think the other is amazingly awesome at facilitating good conversations on difficult topics...

    [personal profile] cxcvi also came out as trans and transfeminine, and announced her engagement at the same time. Many congratulations to [personal profile] cxcvi and [personal profile] sophie

    As it happens, several of my friends who happen to be trans have been bouncing at me about happy relationship developments recently; obviously I'm not going to list them here, but it's very pleasing.
  • (no subject)

    Date: 2013-10-14 01:59 pm (UTC)
    cxcvi: Red cubes, sitting on a reflective surface, with a white background (Default)
    From: [personal profile] cxcvi
    Many congratulations to [personal profile] cxcvi and [personal profile] sophie
    Thank you. That line made turning on my computer today worth it.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2013-10-14 10:41 pm (UTC)
    ewx: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] ewx

    (no subject)

    Date: 2013-10-15 04:13 am (UTC)
    lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
    From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
    "the idea that the only way I can be recognised as genderqueer is by looking like a skinny white boy with long hair is bullshit"

    Yes, it's definitely something that holds me back. I tried to be as gender neutral as possible as a kid (which, to my parents' credit, they totally supported with short hair and my choice of clothes) but from the age of 12 there was absolutely no way I would ever pass for gender neutral and I completely abandoned the idea. It's only recently that the idea that my sex and gender might not be the same has come back to me.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2013-10-15 09:31 am (UTC)
    lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
    From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
    Yeah, in fact one of my brothers (the one who I resemble closely) is a big, solid guy with a belly, though the brother who is close to me in age is a very skinny blond and was quite androgynous-looking in his teens and 20s, which I think has definitely affected me.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2013-10-15 09:58 am (UTC)
    lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
    From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
    There's a difference between reading "feminine" and reading "female", though! I never wear make-up or jewellery, don't dye, treat or set my hair, wear sensible shoes and usually a shirt and pants but there's no way I would read as neutral. In fact, people tend to read my partner (who is just 3 years older than me but has a lot of grey hair) as my mother rather than my partner because we're obviously not a lesbian couple, for some reason, even though she has the world's butchest haircut and doesn't wear make-up either.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2013-10-15 10:41 am (UTC)
    lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
    From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
    if I make no effort at all, I'm not read neutral either, I'm read as unfeminine.

    That makes a lot of sense! I think both my girlfriend and I are busty and read as very feminine so obviously we couldn't possibly be lesbians. (I learned to sew so that I could fix up my pants to fit my 45cm waist/hip difference!)


    Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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